I filled for Bankruptcy Chapter 13 five years ago, and it was discharged last year. I included my student loans, private and federal.
National Collegiate Student Loan Trust refused was contacted to submit their claims but refused. Now that I am out of bankruptcy, they are trying to file a judgment against me. Shouldn’t the statute of limitations be upon those loans?
Why would they hold those loans for 5 plus years and refuse to allow them to be paid through bankruptcy?
Thank you for sending in your question.
I am not an attorney. These are excellent questions for your bankruptcy attorney to address directly since they are your legal representative.
I wonder if NCSLT filed suit immediately after your Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge was issued, or at least within 30 days. That would not surprise me since there is an opening to file suit immediately after a bankruptcy discharge of the Statute of Limitations (SOL) expired during a long bankruptcy process like Chapter 13.
I did locate this beneficial information that might assist you in a conversation with your bankruptcy attorney.
According to the Sadler Law Firm, “In certain situations, you should file a proof of claim on behalf of your creditor(s) if they miss the deadline. However, depending on the type of debt you owe, you may not have to do anything.” They go on to say, “Certain debts are nondischareable in bankruptcy, even though they are not secured. This include certain tax debts, student loans and child/spousal support payments. Like secured debt, it is often best to file a proof of claim for these debts yourself, if your creditor does not. Otherwise, you will still owe these debts once your bankruptcy is complete and may face additional penalties. Also, you may be far better off having the money you pay through the Plan go to these nondischargeable debts instead of other, dischargeable debts.” – Source
According to the law firm, “Sometimes, one or more creditors fail to file a proof of claim within the time limit. Your bankruptcy trustee will send a report to you and/or your attorney outlining which creditors have filed proofs of claim and the percentage of their claim that the trustee will pay. These creditors will receive payments through your Chapter 13 repayment plan. Creditors that fail to file a claim will not receive any money. In some cases, this can create problems for you after your bankruptcy is over.”
So as you can see, it is not clear if NCSLT was just disorganized, intentionally missed the filing date and had to wait, was suspending action while battling their ongoing issues, or had some bigger plan in place.
Even if you had made payments on the NCSLT loan while in bankruptcy, it is not clear if that would have eliminated the debt at all. You would still be in the same spot after your discharge.
Now, there is certainly a big question if the loans were actually protected from discharge and eligible for elimination under your bankruptcy. Ongoing technical issues make the case the loans can’t be validated and do not qualify for protection from discharge.
Those are all valid positions.
However, you will have to turn back to your bankruptcy attorney to address these issues. Unfortunately, the road to dealing with these loans may be the filing of an Adversary Proceeding. This is essentially a lawsuit against NCSLT asking the court to rule the debts are eliminated in your bankruptcy.
While the phrase “it’s complicated” may be overused at times, it certainly applies to your situation.